Loneliness can conjure its own brand of horror. Will I be forever alone? Will a solitary existence drive me to dark places? Those can be fixed by being pro-active and avoiding such fates. But for some, the beast of loneliness can be a difficult one to defeat. Directed by gifted craftsman Neil Jordan, ‘Greta’ explores these issues and the disturbing effect being lonely can have.

Arriving in New York to start her life, Frances (Chloe Grace Moretz) discovers a handbag on a train. Determined to return it to its rightful owner, she delivers it to Greta (Isabelle Huppert) a lonely widow who is grateful for Frances’ kindness. Connecting over recent personal losses, the pair quickly form a close bond. All isn’t what it seems as Frances gradually uncovers aspects of Greta’s life that threaten to make Frances’ new life a short one.

Like ‘Play Misty for Me’, ‘Fatal Attraction’ and similar films, ‘Greta’ is a classic ‘stalker from hell’ movie. These films can create their own brand of camp fun among the scares with several descending into over the top territory. ‘Greta’ has its outlandish moments with leaps of logic difficult to accept. Making them palatable are the fantastic performances of the leads who bring their vast acting experiences to the fore. The level of realism even when the story gets more ridiculous enables continual engagement.

Neil Jordan knows how to ramp up the tension and does an effective job. ‘Greta’ may not be in the upper echelons of his career but it doesn’t disgrace it either. He ensures you know where Greta is coming from by her actions even if she’s someone you definitely should avoid. Huppert injects sympathy to her role with Moretz more than matching her seasoned co-star. ‘Greta’ doesn’t outstay its welcome with the pace just right for this type of yarn.

It’s easy creating a fantasy world in the dim of loneliness with ‘Greta’ revealing how extreme it could get. It’s a ghoulish spectacle of personal psychosis which mirrors the Alfred Hitchcock suspense thrillers. Hopefully the viewers who see this film never meet a Greta as ‘reel life’ vs ‘real life’ would be too much for anyone discerning mind to handle.

Rating out of 10: 7

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